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Palestine’s Importance As Part of United Military Front Against Hitler Stressed

January 19, 1942
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

More than 1,200 delegates from all sections of the country attending the two-day National Conference for Palestine at the Hotel Statler here, today heard messages and addresses stressing Palestine’s importance as part of the anti-Axis front of the United Nations and lauding Jewish achievements there. Among the messages read to the conference were those from Secretary of the Navy Knox, Secretary of the Treasury Morgenthau and from many Allied diplomats. Addressing the conference were David Ben Gurion, chairman of the executive of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, Rabbi Abba Hillal Silver, national chairman of the United Palestine Appeal, Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, Rear Admiral Yates Stirling and many others.

Secretary Knox’s message declared: “Palestine is a thorn in the flank of Hitler and Americans must sharpen that thorn.” Secretary Morgenthau praised Jewish ideals in Palestine and its support of democracy. Mr. Ben Gurion stressed the point that the only solution for the post-war Jewish problem is a Jewish National Commonwealth in Palestine. Ben Gurion declared that the Jews have a right to their own army, fighting under its own flag, as are each of the United Nations fighting Hitler.

Rabbi Silver stated that “Palestine is as much an American front today as it is a British front, and an Allied defeat in Palestine, even as an Allied defeat in Singapore, would prove as costly and dangerous to America as to Great Britain.” Speaking at a luncheon session today Rear Admiral Stirling stressed Palestine’s military importance, the loyalty of its Jewish residents and especially its “two great contributions – Haifa harbor and the new oil refineries.” Declaring that Haifa was a pivotal base for an Allied fleet operating in the Middle Eastern area, Admiral Stirling stated that the art of seafaring has been restored to the Jewish people after a lapse of 2,000 years.


Other greetings received by the delegates came from Myron C. Taylor, President of the Inter-Governmental Committee for Refugees who praised the Jewish achievements he had seen in Palestine; from Federal Security Administrator Paul V. McNutt; from Sir Archibald Sinclair, British Air Minister; from Dr. Chain Weizmann; end from U.S. Ambassador to England, John Winant.

Speaking at last night’s session Dr. Stephen S. Wise emphasized the role of Palestine in providing refuge for Jewish immigrants after the war. Rabbi Israel Goldstein stressed the increased food production in Palestine as a result of the new land acquisitions.

Among the other speakers heard at the various sessions during the two-day conference were: Judge Louis Levinthal, president of the Zionist Organization of America; Dr. Nahum Goldman of the World Jewish Congress; George Z. Medalie, President of the New York Federation of Jewish Philanthropic Societies; Charles J. Rosenbloom, of Pittsburgh, National Treasurer of the United Palestine Appeal; Charles Ress of Mt. Vernon, New York, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Palestine Foundation Fund, Rabbi Barnett R. Brickner of Cleveland: Louis Lipsky of New York, Chairman of the Palestine Foundation Fund; Prof. William F. Albright, Professor of Semitics at John Hopkins University; Judge Morris Rothenberg of New York; Senator Alben W. Barkley; Henry Monaky, President of B’nai B’rith; Mrs. David de Sola Pool, President of Hadassah; Leon Gellman, President of Mizrachi; and David Wertheim, Secretary of Poale Zion Organization.

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